Czech star set to sign for City

PUBLISHED: 15:15 09 July 2007 | UPDATED: 10:22 14 September 2010

David Strihavka at Norwich City's Colney training facility. Photo: Aaron Murrell.

David Strihavka at Norwich City's Colney training facility. Photo: Aaron Murrell.

Norwich's new Czech hitman David Strihavka could be poised for his City debut on Saturday in the Canaries' opening pre-season fixture at Exeter.

Norwich's new Czech hitman David Strihavka could be poised for his City debut on Saturday in the Canaries' opening pre-season fixture at Exeter.

Peter Grant is set to officially unveil Strihavka in the next few days after City reportedly triggered Banik Ostrava's £700,000 buy out clause for the 24-year-old.

Strihavka trained with his new team mates at Colney for the first time yesterday as club officials and the player's representative finalised his move from the Czech top flight outfit.

The former youth international is believed to have agreed a four year contract on a whistle stop tour of the club last week.

Norwich must now obtain international clearance from the Czech FA for Strihavka to line up against the Grecians in City's pre-season opener.

“He's a boy we've been looking at for a while,” confirmed Grant. “We've watched him for a time and knew he'd been down at Watford (on trial) last season where he scored two goals in only game. At the time we thought there was Premiership interest, but we have kept an eye on him and he's different to what we have.

“He's 6ft 3in, technically good as you expect from European players and he scores goals. He will give us a different dimension when he's on the pitch.”

Strihavka failed to impress in a brief four day trial at the relegated Hornets back in January. The Prague-born attacker will become Grant's sixth summer signing with the strapping targetman potentially forming an exciting new look front pairing alongside last season's Championship golden boot Jamie Cureton.

Strihavka topped the Czech scoring charts in his final year with the four-time national champions, notching 13 goals in 28 appearances.

The former Sparta forward played against Lyon in the 2004 Champions League group stages after Prague were drawn against the French powerhouses and Man United in the qualifying section. Strihavka has also represented his country at international youth level and was part of the Czech U19 squad at the 2000 UEFA championships in Israel.

"It's an enormous opportunity, and I take it as a challenge,” Strihavka told Ostrava's web site last week. “In England I'm sure I'll be able to learn a lot, including an even more professional approach to football. I'm not worried about the language, I already speak a little English and I'm sure I'll soon get used to it.

“A weight has been lifted from my shoulders now that everything going on around me has been sorted out and I can just concentrate on football.

“The Championship is something different than the Czech League - you play at sold-out stadiums which is a top thing for any player. Every footballer wants to move abroad, to learn new cultures and gain experience.”

Banik have already lined up ex-Czech U21 striker Vaclav Sverkos to replace the departing Strihavka. The 23-year-old has been given permission to train with Ostrava by German Bundesliga Two side Borussia Monchengladbach ahead of a permanent switch.

....................................

FACTFILE

t Name: David Strihavka

t Date of Birth: March 4, 1983. (24)

t Birthplace: Prague, Czech Republic

t Height: 6ft 3in (1.91m)

t Former clubs: Bohemians Prague, Sparta (two spells), FK Jablonec, Chmel Blsany, Banik Ostrava

Czech U16 and U19 international

t Topped the 2007 Czech first division scoring charts with 13 goals in 28 appearances

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